Ruby Matthews is devastated to lose her well-paid marketing job just before Christmas, and makes a New Year’s Resolution to change her life by doing a different job every month for the next twelve months. Hopefully by the end of the year she’ll know what she really wants to do.
Ruby tries a wide variety of jobs, and while she’s certainly happy to leave some, she's inspired and learns from each. She masquerades as a fortune-teller, nannies in the south of France and works in a home for retired actors; it’s said that variety is the spice of life, but will it bring Ruby lasting happiness?
What a fun read this was! Our heroine was natural and entertaining to read about, her work ethics were admirable - she’d do pretty much any job she was offered and wasn’t afraid to try new things. I liked that she was determined not to fall behind with her mortgage payments but didn’t want to end up in another uninspiring career. It was a relief when, about midway through the novel, Ruby stopped fancying what seemed to be every man she came into contact with. Her behaviour was verging on becoming a little bit desperate which took away somewhat from the likeability of her character!
Ruby certainly met a colourful cast during her escapades. My favourite was undoubtedly Tony, her half deaf co-worker from a Harley Street sexual health clinic: he was so brilliantly inappropriate it was hilarious. Ruby’s grumpy cat Patrick also gave me lots to giggle about.
By contrast, I’m afraid I wasn’t overly enamoured with Ruby’s neighbour and love interest ‘Gorgeous George’: he was a little rough and ready for my liking and seemed too ordinary and uninspiring for Ruby in my opinion.
“Working It Out” had an original storyline, with plenty of scope for fun and adventure, which the author made full use of in Ruby’s escapades. The characterisation was superb and really made the tale stand out for me. May managed to make the most out of every single one of the characters in this book; they were all individual, entertaining and drew me further into the story.
I was concerned that the whole twelve jobs in a year idea would result in the plot feeling very bitty and broken up, but actually it worked well and kept the tale fresh and interesting throughout. The novel was actually a surprisingly quick read, possibly because its pace was so well maintained with a lot going on in the storyline.
“Working It Out” is a self-published book with a very professional finish; I was particularly impressed by its eye-catching cover. The story is a lovely mixture of both the comic and the poignant, and really deserves to reach as wide an audience as possible.
3 and a half stars